Unlike many other types of pet birds, finches are extremely active and get their exercise by flying. This exercise is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. They will often come down with some form of illness or disease if they are cooped up in a small cage for too long, so it is recommended that your finches cage provide enough room for short flights at least. Also the size of the cage will determine how many finches you can keep, so keep this in mind when purchasing or building your cage. It is recommended it be at least two and a half feet in length, for a couple of birds. Many finch owners may even have two cages; often using the second one as a reserve, and for placing the birds in while the other cage is being cleaned out. This cage may also be used in the case where one or two birds need to be quarantined or separated for breeding etc. You will have to watch, because finches are so small they do need a cage with bars placed close together to prevent them from injuring themselves or escaping.
Several Things will need to be provided in the Cage:
Separate finch feeders for food and water at all times
Extra dishes for things like treats and grit
A small dish to bathe in several times a week
A nest box to sleep in and lay eggs
Perches to rest on
Perches for the cage should be of various sizes so as to provide exercise for your birds’ feet. Cement perches can be good for keeping the toe nails trimmed, but used alone can be very harsh on your finches’ feet. For a more natural approach you might like to use natural perches made from the branches of trees like elm, maple, pear, poplar, or cherry. These can be arranged at various heights but must be secured well in the cage
The bottom of the cage should be lined with paper and sprinkled with grit, or you can use a grit paper readily available at the local pet store. This will be beneficial for your birds and make it easier for cleaning. For a cheaper option you might like to make your own liners with paper towels or old paper bags cut to size. If you keep your birds outside you may like to consider having an open floor. This is where the cage is set up above the ground with just wire mess to keep your birds secured. This is an easy option when it comes to cleaning because you just have to hose down the area beneath the cage; this is where all the droppings will land. This can also be done on a daily basis to keep the cage really clean and bacteria free for you birds. Make sure that there is enough room for their bath and extra bowls for treats and grit if you would prefer to keep this in a separate bowl as I do.
Normally in the wild a finch will spend much of its time looking for food and eating. In your cage the food is readily available and so your finches will need toys to prevent boredom and give them something to do. Finches often like plastic rings and bells, shiny objects are fascinating for them and will keep them entertained for hours. There are many other toys for birds that can be obtained from pet stores and retail outlets like swings, ladders, beads and mirrors. It’s best to rotate the toys as you would with a child or dog so they can then have a renewed interest in them when you bring them out. Another accessory option for you but this time for their health is a “bird protector disk” which can be attached to the side of the cage in order to prevent mites.
Cleaning and Maintenance:
Your finches cage should be cleaned at least once a week. This will be fairy easy if you have your cage set up correctly. You will need a bucket of hot, soapy water to thoroughly clean the cage and accessories. It will then need to be rinsed and dried, it is important to keep the cage dry to reduce excess bacteria in the cage which can increase the risk of bacterial infections to develop in your finches. If you have decided to go with the grit or paper lined tray then just replace this as necessary.